The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania has provided funding for the establishment of the Rural Innovation Fund (RIF). RIF is a project designed by the Market Infrastructure, Value Addition and Rural Finance (MIVARF), a Programme which is implemented by the Prime Minister’s Office. Further, the Government appointed Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB) to be the Administrator of the Fund. Funding for the RIF is envisaged to be USD 5.0 Million.
The RIF is expected to support directly, the plans, concepts, ideas and initiatives to test new innovative approaches, methods and services in rural areas for the benefit of rural population.
To guide the implementation of RIF is “the existence of demand oriented and tailored supply of financial services, which are readily available and accessible by the smallholder farmers in the country”.
Financial assistance from the RIF would be available to those entities, which fulfill the basic eligibility criteria laid down for the purpose. The eligibility criteria, which shall be transparent and non-discriminatory, will be based on the following parameters. These are illustrative in nature and may be amended by the Steering Committee from time to time.
- A formal entity, duly registered under a law of the land (except in the case of an individual and PEML and Value Addition Groups);
- Must have previous experience of working in the field of rural development in general and rural finance in particular. Experience of working in the multiple agricultural value chains and with the smallholder farmers, pastoralists,fishermen, women, youth, etc., would be an added advantage;
- Must have technical competence/skills, including qualified human resources, to undertake the asks/assignments;
- Must be financially sound, and have viable operations leading to sustainable services;
- Must have the ability to meet a part of the project cost;
- Must adhere to international best practices for governance, business service, accounting, monitoring and reporting;
- Must have been continuously audited during the previous three years and the audit reports must have been submitted to the registering/regulating authority in time;
- No adverse comments should have been made about the beneficiary institution in the audit reports (as also in the inspection reports of other regulators like BRELA, BoT, RCS, etc., as the case may be);
- The Board of Directors/Governing Body must resolve to apply for assistance under RIF and authorise the CEO to apply to the Administrator of RIF for the same;
- To support directly, the plans, concepts, ideas and initiatives to test new/innovative approaches, methods and services in rural areas for the benefit of rural population.
- to promote the capacities for a dedicated VC finance mechanism, a general strengthening of rural finance capabilities is also desired, involving other stakeholders.
- support initiatives aimed at promoting livelihood opportunities and employment creation in rural areas and facilitating access to the business promotion services for the poor.
- To capitalise on the results of the innovations supported by it.
Following entities, in public and private sectors, would be eligible to avail financial support from RIF. This list is illustrative and the Steering Committee of RIF would be free to add or delete any entity from this list.
- Financial service providers, including development finance institutions (DFIs), banks, MFIs, SACCOS, etc.
- Networks of FSPs
- Technology solutions/services providing companies
- Agri-business companies
- Farmers’ Groups/Producers’ Organisations
- Academic/research institutions
- Non-Governmental Organisations/Community Based Organisations
An entity desirous of seeking assistance under RIF will have to submit its request within the deadline prescribed by the Administrator, along with the requisite information/documents, which, among others, would include the following.
- A covering letter (a specimen given as Annexure-1).
- Entity’s Profile (Annexure-2).
- Details of the proposal (Annexure-3).
- Resolution of the Board of Directors/Governing Body, resolving/agreeing to seek assistance from the RIF and authorizing the Chief Executive Officer to enter into necessary agreements/Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Administrator of RIF.